We’ve just finished a 9-week conversation on freedom based on Paul’s first century letter, Galatians.
For me, it’s been a powerful time to silence the bullying voice of Law in all its forms and rest in the perfect, finished work of Jesus Christ.
As we closed the series, I was particularly challenged by my own tendency to boast in the flesh (6:13); to put my confidence in church attendance, growth curves, giving charts, sermons downloads and such like. A boast in reputation.
But as my favourite character in Frozen sings, “Reindeers are better than people…” People can be fickle and moreover their praise isn’t genuine. If they really knew the non-airbrushed version of Howard, warts and all, I suspect they’d throw rotten vegetables, not give me applause. Reputation is a fragile boast. It’s sinking sand, not the solid rock of the cross of Christ on which Paul encourages us to stand (6:14).
This is the boast (think victory war cry) we must regularly preach to ourselves, interrupting our foolish attempts to shore ourselves up by putting our confidence in reputation or anything else.
It inspired me to write a poem, which I share to encourage all those who struggle like me to boast in Christ.
It’s no masterpiece: dyslexia and poetry don’t make great company, but I hope it serves you well.
Westminster Chapel, listen well,
God’s here to break Law’s bewitching spell.
I’m writing myself now not my scribe.
With ALL caps, joyful shouting vibe.
For freedom Christ has set you free – rejoice!
It’s time you found your fighting voice!
Boasting and boldness are inseparably intertwined.
This is the secret to renewing your mind.
Unless a kernel of wheat falls and dies,
it remains only a single seed and will not thrive.
But if it dies, it multiplies.
Jesus is the Resurrection seed.
He died and multiplied exponentially.
Divine life falling into barren hearts by faith not deed.
Terraforming everything to radiate His glory.
God cannot be mocked.
Seeds will produce crops.
If it’s an absolute principle in nature,
how much more so in God!
Don’t you see?
You are free!
Victory is inevitable!
God is able!
Don’t give up.
It’s time to get yourself unstuck.
Put your hope in the One who never fails.
He’s broken you free from debtor’s gaol.
Glory in this grace.
That’s the rule of life,
trellis you can grow up,
living water to sup.
Grace is more than ABC
It’s all of life, A to Zee (sorry-zed).
God, God, not a mere man, God died for you!
The substitutionary, sacrificial death for you!
Boast, boast, in your new creation glory!
Born again from above,
the beloved beneficiary of this gospel story.
He covers your shame.
He gives you a new name.
Saint not sinner now.
Wow, I mean, just wow!
Let it penetrate deep within.
Pray it, speak it, shout it,
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ under your skin.
This is Christ in you the hope of glory.
So take up your place in this victory story.
You don’t exist simply to survive;
By His grace you will flourish and thrive!
Stand firm! Walk tall!
Unleash heaven’s love upon one and all!
For there will never be a day where He will fail,
The grace of God will always prevail.
So Drink deep.
Soak it in.
For in Christ you are destined to win!